Trends in Using Mobile to Boost Loyalty & Consumer Engagement

When it comes to brands, consumers have far too many buying choices. They have come to expect having this array of choices and that means their loyalty to your particular brand depends in large part, ironically, to providing customers with many choices – that is, several ways to take advantage of your loyalty program.

Your loyalty program needs to cater to your consumers and what works best for them. Today’s consumers are clearly committed to engaging with brands on their mobile devices. A lot rides on mobile, given the many tendrils associated with it, including email, text, tablets, social media and mobile apps. To appeal to the broadest range of consumers, loyalty programs need to offer accessibility and convenience over these multiple channels as well as the desktop.

It’s no surprise to hear that there has been a surge in demand for customer loyalty programs that are mobile-based. About 70% of millennials make purchases online once a month or more; another 33% make purchases directly from their phones.

The problem is that not all loyalty programs are convenient for consumers to use. A recent CodeBroker Mobile Loyalty Studysummarizes research on 1,207 U.S. consumers from all income levels and age groups. About 43% of them said the biggest hassle was having to carry a loyalty card and retrieve them at POS. About 70% of consumers stated that they would love to use a mobile-based loyalty card if they did not have to download any apps or log into a website to use it.

Consumers surveyed also made it clear that they would be more likely to actually use a loyalty program on a regular basis if they were able to gain easy, hassle-free access to their loyalty cards and rewards.

A California fast-food chain discovered that only 18% of their loyalty cards had been activated for use in the last six months. Going further, a whopping 44% of those activated cards went unused.

Consumers crave information; they like to research products/pricing and they want engagement to happen on their own terms. So when it comes to loyalty, you want many legs to stand on. This means being inclusive of all possible channels, both physical and digital, to create, develop and boost loyalty. This is known as omnichannel loyalty and it’s all about catering to your buyers via email, text, apps, social media, and mobile wallet.

Omnichannel-related loyalty ranked #1

A recent EKN Mobile Loyalty Study reported that omnichannel-related loyalty is the number one method to boost loyalty and consumer engagement. Based on their experience, more than half of retailers believe that it is imperative to make their loyalty programs accessible and easy to use across all mobile channels.

Further, research has revealed that your consumers want to be part of loyalty programs that manage and track their credits and points. They want to experience the benefits of incentive offers directly from their mobile phones. Carrying a physical loyalty card and remembering to bring it shopping was never a very effective model; it was too easy to leave it at home or in the glovebox. Also, traditional loyalty card programs usually don’t give the loyalty marketer the ability to access many important engagement analytics.

Successful and profitable loyalty programs must create a win-win for both consumers and brands. This includes giving consumers omnichannel choices and mobile-based, hassle-free access to your loyalty programs.